So God Made a Farmer - Paul Harvey 1978
Updated: Nov 2, 2022
In 1978 Paul Harvey gave a speech to the national FFA Convention. This speech has been used with various images on YouTube, and a portion of it was used for a Dodge Ram Truck advertisement during a football game on National Television.
His words ring true today. Here is the full text of the speech:
And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said “I need a caretaker” – So God made a Farmer
God said “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk the cows, work all day in the field, milk cows again, eat supper then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board” – So God made a Farmer
“I need somebody with arms strong enough to wrestle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild; somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to await lunch until his wife’s done feeding visiting ladies, then tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon, and mean it” – So God made a Farmer
God said “I need somebody willing to sit up all night with and newborn colt, and watch it die, then dry his eyes and say maybe next year. I need somebody who can shape an axe handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make a harness out of hay wire, feed sacks and shoe straps, who at planting time and harvest season will finish his forty hour week by Tuesday noon and then, paining from tractor back, will put in another 72 hours” – So God made a Farmer
God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain, and yet stop in midfield and race to help when he sees first smoke from a neighbor’s place – So God made a Farmer
God said “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bales, yet gentle enough to wean lambs and pigs and tend to pink-combed pullets; who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken leg of a meadowlark. It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners; somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed, and rake and disk and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week’s work with a five-mile drive to church. Somebody who would bale a family together with the soft, strong bonds of sharing; who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply with smiling eyes when his son says he want to spend his life doing what dad does” – So God made a Farmer
I’ve spoken to countless individuals over the years, and I never fail to hear a story about their dad, mom, uncle, or brother who had a farm. Or the homestead that has been passed down over four generations, or the first-generation farmers who felt the calling to the land and want to pass it on to their children. It’s almost like they can’t wait to tell me the time they helped their Pawpaw harvest corn or Grandma snap beans on the porch. I love to listen to their stories and I am so glad that they even know them.
People love farmers. And I know why. Recently, a friend shared a memory of her mom who would plant extra in the garden and give half of it to those in need. And then there are the stories about the farmers who gather to help one another after a disaster. Farmers have been and always will be "good people" - how can you be anything else and do the work they do everyday? They receive simple blessings and know to share them with those in need.
People get it, and they trust that these men and women are made of something not many are - - an immaterial goodness that is cultivated only by earning a living by the sweat of their brow and understanding that we all need one another if were going to get through the tough times and want to truly enjoy the good times.
And here’s the thing. All of these stories I hear really are generic, but no less special, in the sense that most everyone who knows a farmer has one to tell. It is a way of life, it’s how things are done. You love your neighbor, care for those in need and expect nothing in return. Amen.
I have to warn you, though, if a farmer thinks your product is no good or they think what you’re selling is bogus, they’ll let you know that, too. Most are way too honest and have a problem keeping their opinions to themselves.
But really, I’m just expounding a little bit, and not nearly as eloquently, on what Paul Harvey has already told us:
God needed someone to remind us about humanity and what’s really important in life, so God made a Farmer.
I have an agricultural heritage on both sides of my family, Although I never intended to become a farmer, I did. I am proud to be a part of this heritage. I am proud of the work done by the generations that came before us, and I hope that those generations are proud of the work we are doing today.
Farming is not a job, it’s a Life.
I am Blessed